A very wise friend once told me that if you feel overwhelmed you should think of just the elephant’s foot, not the whole elephant*.
I come back to this saying quite a bit and have used it with students too. The calmness that you get from giving his foot a pedicure can often soon spread. Just as the blind panic can if you try and do everything!
This was my mantra early November when our house was ditched post holiday and it is my mantra today (when our house is ditched post Christmas). Oooh, love a theme….
It was also my mantra (although I didn’t know it back then) the day I painted our garden fence. Just do a panel or two I told myself; I settled into the job and did the whole lot in an afternoon. That was before kids though! It’s dawned on me that kids mean that you can’t be all or nothing anymore, you have to dip in and out and patch up as you go along.
The fence was back when you could pick a quiet weekend and do a whole job at once. Waiting for the perfect moment is no longer a good idea; the perfect moment doesn’t even exist now. Just jump in and have a go and accept you could have to drop things any minute (yes it’s currently nap time…so excuse the rambling babble and complete tangent!). Back to the elephant…
Currently my elephant is mainly the house. Not a bad elephant to have I guess. But I’ve decided that the whole elephant mantra needs adapting. I’m trying to customise my elephant and add on a few bits on for myself (which will hopefully also make him happier). I really want more time for myself. So sometimes I leave the elephant alone or just do a enough to make him comfortable, and work on a hat for him instead.**
*the issue / thing that’s stressing you being the elephant.
**the hat is often my blog
***yes, send help